Start Simple in Fabric Design

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If you're considering joining me in any of my courses, you'll need a few supplies. I'm listing all my favorites (the ones I personally use in my own studio) below. 

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ESSENTIAL TOOLS | These tools are 'must haves'.

Adobe Illustrator (begin a free trial here)

I suggest using the latest version of Adobe Illustrator CC. If you prefer an older version, feel free to follow along using it, just keep in mind that some tools and workflow elements will be different.

A Sketchbook

A sketchbook (or several!) will be important to use during the design phase. Keep in mind that you'll want a smooth bright white paper that will be easy to either photograph or scan. I go between using a larger 9x12 and a smaller moleskin.

Drawing Tools

I like to keep an array of drawing tools on hand. At minimum, you'll want to have a few pencils and a pen that has a nice dark, smooth line. Here are a few of my favorites:

Camera or Smartphone

During the design phase, you'll take lots of photos for inspiration. You'll also be able to use photos of your sketches to design from, if you don't have a scanner.

USEFUL TOOLS | These tools are not mandatory, but useful if you have them.


A scanner provides the best and most accurate way to get your sketches or paintings into the computer to work from. I use the Canon CanoScan LiDE110.

Lightbox or Tracing Paper

A lightbox or tracing paper can be useful when we're trying to add layers to a drawing or 'perfect' it before scanning it in. I use an Artograph (here's a more affordable option). Hint - taping a sketch up to a window works great, too! 

If you prefer to work with tracing paper, I recommend this one.

Watercolor Supplies

Here are my favorite paint supplies:

Drawing Tablet

Finally, many designers (myself included) find a drawing tablet incredibly useful. While not mandatory (I have plenty of students who only use their mouse!), I think you'll fall in love with the capabilities a drawing tablet opens up to you.

Here are the two I personally use:


Download the complete guide to all of my favorite tools, resources and equipment that makes up my personal studio HERE.



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